Poetry October 2010

The Bone Ring

The summer when I saw the Trylon and Perisphere,
I sat on the farm porch with my Great-Uncle Luther
who told me that when he was nine he watched
the soldier boys walking back home from Virginia.

The new war started, and always another war.

He showed me family keepsakes from the attic—
a top hat his father wore, a bugle, and remnants
that emptied the pockets of a cousin killed at Shiloh:
a button, a spoon, and a ring carved out of bone.

Presented by

Donald Hall’s recent books include Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry (2008) and White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946–2006. He lives in New Hampshire.

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